It's Never That Serious.....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hey there guys, I hope you are all well, recovered from the Royal Wedding fever. Beautiful wedding, wasn't it? And how cool was it that Kate opted to do her own make-up? No-fuss is the future, don't you think?

Well, also on that no-fuss tip...I came across this post by one of my favourite, no-fuss bloggers, Sharri Sweeting, who blogs at The Brisk Convergence. She's beautiful, recently BC'ed her beautiful natural hair, and has this no-fuss attitude about everything around her. Her post on taking a chill pill when it comes to natural hair care struck me, and I thought I should share. It's basically about how sometimes we get too wrapped up in the world of Natural hair, products, routines...what to do and what not to do, and how we sometimes go too far...or get sidetracked, losing the point of why we decided to go natural in the first place.

I must say, I sometimes get like that, but very recently decided to just take a chill pill. I have a few of those to share....

Enjoy.


Sharri post BC

You’ve got to chill.

Lately is seems as though the Natural Hair Community (NHC from here on out. I’m on a netbook and this tight-ass keyboard calls for acronyms) has gone into a frenzy.
Everything is over-the-top yet absolutely trite.
When making my rounds around the NHC blogosphere, I occasionally try to imagine how these blogs might come across to black women who still straighten and have only flirted with the idea of going natural. I started doing this after someone mentioned to me how difficult going natural seems to be. I have to say, if I was still on the creamy crack, reading some of these posts and viewing some of these photos would put me off as well. 
For one, theres the over-informing that takes place. Product reviews have deviated from practical descriptions of user experience to 6 paragraph break-downs of silicones and porosity. There is something to be gained by researching this information, but it’s not always necessary to determine if you like a product or not. This desire to become an expert on ridiculous details is a recurring by-product of the blogger age. I’ve seen it in the menswear circles, where folks justify purchases by breaking down the waxing process on a raincoat, and come across it in the selvedge denim circles where people debate the rivets a company uses. Yes these facts help back up a company’s claim to a superior product, but so does the simple act of buying it, and having it work properly.
Then there’s the ‘My life is now amazing!’ testimonials. As though their years spent straightening their hair was some never-ending crack-binge. As though they have finally become a decent person by growing out an afro. Sometimes it seems as if those who have gone natural can’t speak of the positive aspects without putting down relaxers. Can you imagine yourself with a relaxer reading these posts and not wanting to roll your eyes and suck your teeth and close the tab?
Tumblr, much like Twitter, has a way of developing vacuums amongst its users. All it takes is for you to follow 3 people whom someone you’re already following reblogs/retweets to end up with a single-track stream of information. I’ve had to cut my follows in half because 75% of the posts I was coming across were photos of a general aesthetic: the Native Tongue Movement-meets-Kate Spade-meets-Erykah Badu. Seriously folks: how many photos of a girl with a kente-cloth (Kitenge) ’50s housewife dress with a towering headwrap do you need to post? How many instagrams of a hipster girl with a Kelis-like ‘fro, acid washed jeggins, Jordans and plastic frame glasses must be reblogged?
My point is that natural hair is just another styling option. That’s it. You chop off the straightened part of your hair, find  the products, accessories, and styling techniques that work for you and go. It’s as simple as that. It’s not a small part of a universal aesthetic, it’s not the gateway to a better life and higher credit score, and it certainly doesn’t require that you switchover to wooden jewelry and ALL-KENTE-CLOTH-EVERYTHING.
The less you make it seem like a complete lifestyle change and/or the solution to relaxed hair, the better and more welcoming the NHC will be.

Do we concur??

Cheers.

6 comments

  1. I concur on the statements suggesting that naturals should not feel superior to relaxed but not on the info blogs give. See am a newbie natural and a scientist, naturally (pun intended) I want and crave to know the science behind things.
    So I totally enjoy reading about the 'porosity' and whatever else that will bring about more knowledge for me. For me its like , wow! Who wuldathunk there are even scientific journals about my african hair and I only learnt these through the blogs.
    On the constant photos, I enjoiy them. As in my hair has the possibility of doing that and looking like that, again a whowuldathunk moment!
    No, not everyone who becomes natural has to wear the wooden ornaments or vitenges, but why not? Even the ones with relaxed hair can. In the 90s we totally shunned such clothes and left it to our mothers and aunts. But if this young generation is embracing it why not? Its our african culture. We can rock it as well as those skinny jeans. The many photos can be as seen as going out to buy the latest vogue magazine to get tips and inspiration and ideas. To me the blogs are my natural hair vogue magazine

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  2. Been trying to comment for ages...Anyway I totally agree that this whole natural hair care thing can get too much until you feel like you are studying for a biochemical structure exam. It is good to understand how to care for natural hair and how certain chemicals work with your hair.
    I do agree with Ms Anon above that as a fellow scientist its pretty cool understanding such terms as porosity.
    Everyone need to enjoy their natural hair and not be obsessed with it..let your hair fit into your style and do not change for it
    Thanks for an awesome post.Nyash

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  3. Thanks for saying exactly what has been on my mind.
    As a newbie I find that there is sooo much fuss over natural hair as though it would fall off if you didn't walk around with glycerin water mix really?If God intended for us to go through so much just to take care of your hair as it should be ....dont you think he wouldn't have.I follow naturalgirlsguide for the rest i read for fashion.Everyone will tell you how much work it will be until you are discouraged.At the end of the day like you said,its just a styling option.

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  4. It really is never that serious! I've been natural for close to 7 years, 6.5 of them I had dreads *moment of silence for the dreads that reached my butt, cut Dec 30 2010, 2 days after reading The Natural Girls Guide*, ANYWAY... while I had them people kept asking me what my secret was, and I'm like EXCUSE? Then they looked at me as if I was about to unleash the 10 commandments of how to take care of natural hair. To their shock and horror I didn't do anything to my hair other than wash it in the shower, then twist it while it was still wet with no yucky wax or gel. My point is... these regiments you find online don't work for everyone, you won't find me pre-pooing, deep cleansing and such, who has the time and patience.

    The internet IS flooded with too much information about "going natural" and doing things so that it grows long, and perm bashing (don't even get me started on that chart that classifies the type of curl you have, OH SALALE! Nonsense!). Fact of the matter is, it's hair! How you choose to wear it is up to you, but nobody should feel pressured into this current trend of going nappy just because you think it'll make you happy.

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  5. I have been on hair boards for a long time(3 years) and have been both relaxed and natural.

    It irks me to no end when people act like you find God when you go natural,or get on a higher spiritual plane. That is a bunch of bull.Relaxed or natural,it is just hair and having one or the other doesn't make you superior. Whatever makes you feel sexy,do it.

    I love chemistry,so knowing to use a shampoo with carboxylic acid helps bond protein to the hair is my idea of fun.

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  6. I enjoy it, why should other people get upset because someone feels more beatuful and embraces their natural hair? There is a such thing as doing it (it takes 5 hours to wash your hair????) but in the end of the day it's not just a "trend", and women spend just as much time on other parts of their appearence. If you don't like something someone is saying on a blog,tumblr , or whatever, then don't waste your time, it probably just wasn't intended for your type of reader.

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